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Look for tops, pants, shorts -- even sports bras made with recycled materials, such as Cocona fabrics, which come from coconut shells. They dry quickly and provide excellent sun and odor protection. (For info and products, go to www.coconafabric.com.) Need new sneaks? Brooks running shoes feature the industry's first biodegradable midsole (www.brooksrunning.com).2. Make a fair trade.
Instead of buying new fitness DVDs and books, use swapping sites like www.swapadvd.com and www.paperbackswap.com to trade with thousands of other people for free.3. Wheel and deal on exercise equipment.
Whether it's a bike, a Bowflex, or a Precor elliptical machine, you'll find great deals at craigslist.org in the local classified ads and forums.4. Get your grooves for less.
Why pay full price for an MP3 player? Check out sites that offer refurbished electronics, like www.dyscern.com where you can save more than 50 percent off the retail price. Refurbished items are typically those that were returned within 30 days of purchase, had damaged packaging or a slight cosmetic defect, were used as in-store display items, or were simply overstocked. Many are still covered by their original warranties; before they can be resold they go through rigorous defect testing.5. Drink smarter.
More than 38 billion disposable plastic bottles end up in landfills every year in the United States. Instead of adding to that number, tote a reusable water bottle and fill it with filtered water. At FilterForGood.com, a campaign created by Brita and Nalgene, you can sign a pledge to give up disposable water bottles and get a coupon for $5 off a Brita system.
Less water for your daily shower + less heat = lower utility bills. Evolve has designed a series of water-saving showerheads that let the cold H20 run until the water temperature reaches 95 degrees and then stops it to a trickle until you step into the shower and turn the valve. If you choose the Roadrunner low-flow showerhead ($39.95), you'll also save about one gallon of water per minute. Find out more at www.evolveshowerheads.com.7. Keep cool.
Set the right temperature in your home with a Lux digital thermostat -- an affordable, Energy Star-rated option that starts at about $35 and is available at stores like Wal-Mart and Sears. Energy Star requires that all of its qualified models come with four pre-programmed settings to automatically adjust temperatures throughout the night and day.8. Breathe easier.
A HEPA filter vacuum sucks up very small particles of dust, allergens, and chemicals and traps them in the vacuum instead of spewing them back out into the air. The Eureka Upright is one of the most affordable HEPA filter vacuums available at around $140.9. Carpool.
Zimride is a ride-share service that lets you create personal profiles, like Facebook, and select car mates who share similar music tastes or favorite sports teams. Zimmers can evaluate things like driving speed and smoking preferences before agreeing to hop in. www.zimride.com.10. Better yet, bike to work.
Cut down on car emissions and get some exercise by cycling to your office. Go to Mapmyride.com, plug in your starting point and your destination and you'll be able to see the route's elevation map. Choose a path with hills for a workout, or a flatter ride to arrive sweat-free.
For more info and budget-friendly eco ideas, check out www.lazyenvironmentalist.com. Josh Dorfman's new TV show, The Lazy Environmentalist, airs this spring on the Sundance Channel.
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, April 2009.